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Nissan Defective Automatic Emergency Braking System Class Action

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2015 Nissan Murano

Nissan has made its Automatic Emergency Braking system standard in its 2018 versions of its Rogue, Rogue Sport, Murano, Altima, Maxima, Armada, Pathfinder, Leaf, and Sentra models. However, the complaint for this class action says that the system is defective and can cause collisions by applying the brakes suddenly and unexpectedly.  

The class for this action is all current or former owners or lessees of model year 2017 to 2019 Nissan vehicles equipped with Forward Emergency Braking or Automatic Emergency Braking that were bought or leased in Connecticut.

The Automatic Emergency Braking system was first installed in 2015 Muranos and was initially called Forward Emergency Braking. The complaint quotes Nissan’s materials as saying that the system “uses radar technology to monitor a vehicle’s proximity to the vehicle ahead…. If the driver fails to respond, the AEB system can apply the brakes, helping the driver to avoid the collision or reduce the speed of impact if it is unavoidable.”

Plaintiff Lakeita Kemp bought her 2019 Nissan Altima from a dealer in Connecticut. The complaint says, “Within weeks after her purchasing the vehicle, Plaintiff kemp’s 2019 Altima began experiencing the Emergency Braking Defect. Plaintiff Kemp has most commonly experienced the Emergency Braking Defect in parking garages, where her brakes lock up, suddenly and forcefully, as she approaches an up ramp.” 

According to the complaint, “this defect is often experienced on railroad tracks and bridges. Owners and lessees of Class Vehicles have found themselves stopped in the middle of railroad tracks… Other owners and lessees of Class Vehicles have recalled experiencing the Emergency Braking Defect on highways and at high speeds.”

The defect is thus dangerous because it can cause collisions from behind when the vehicle stops and because it prevents the vehicles from moving out of the way of danger.

The complaint claims that Nissan knew of the defect long ago, through customer complaints and reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The complaints quotes some of the incidents recorded on the NHTSA website: 

  • “ABS braking system goes on when driving the car for no apparent reason.… This happened 7 times.”
  • “This malfunction nearly caused a serious accident which could have resulted in serious injuries…. They have had the vehicle for approximately 1 week and are now contacting us requesting that we pick up the vehicle, despite the fact that they have not repaired the vehicle….”
  • “I am still fighting with Nissan, but as of last night, they said Nissan had no interest in replacing or letting me repurchase at this time….”

The complaint says that Nissan is thus aware of the problem but has no fix for it. This also seems clear from its July 19, 2018 technical service bulletin, which addresses the problem. The recommended repair “is ineffective” and “does not adequately address” the issue, the complaint says, and Nissan has not issued a recall.

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